HJ - Kristin Smith at IWCC Board Meeting

During a meeting of the Iowa Western Community College Board of Trustees in Clarinda Monday, Sept. 16, Clarinda Center Director Kristin Smith reviewed improvements that have been made to facilities at the center. (Herald-Journal photo by Dan Eshelman)

Information about improvements to facilities at Iowa Western Community College’s Clarinda Center was presented during a meeting of the Board of Trustees Monday, Sept. 16, in Clarinda.

Center Director Kristin Smith reviewed work done on the outside and interior of buildings at the location.

One project still underway is the installation of new locks on the doors of classrooms. The change is part of an effort to enhance safety and security for students, instructors and other personnel at the center.

After all the locks are in place, “faculty and staff will only get keys to the rooms they absolutely have to have access to,” Smith said, adding that she will keep a master key allowing her to enter any room when necessary.

When classes are in session, she said, “I will require that all of the classrooms have the door shut and be locked from the outside.” Egress will still be possible from the inside of the rooms.

That procedure has not been in effect in the past because “some of the doors had automatic closure, and [people] would get locked out,” Smith said. “That is another reason why I carry my key, so if I have to get in there I don’t have to disrupt class.”

Smith noted that numerous high school students from neighboring districts attend classes at the Clarinda Center. Having locked classroom doors is “already normal” for them, she said.

Acknowledging that adjustments will accompany the new procedure, Smith said she believed increased emphasis on security made “this an appropriate time to implement” the change.

“If someone says that’s inconvenient, I say, ‘Wouldn’t you rather be inconvenienced than be in trouble?’” she said.

Work on the exterior of Opitz Hall and Rowland Hall was completed during the summer and included removing mold and other deposit from the walls.

“The buildings look really nice, and I have received positive comments from people in the community,” Smith said.

She displayed representative photos showing the condition of the outer walls on Rowland Hall before and after the work.

“We knew they were bad, but it’s just that once they were done, we really knew how bad they looked,” Smith said.

The walls were washed with a special solution. “It’s stuff you would clean paneling with, only industrial strength,” she said. “For the process it took, they worked most of the summer. They had to repair it and treat it. The paint and the coating that went on are supposed to be mold-resistant, so that doesn’t happen again.”

Inside Opitz Hall, cleaning and upgrading were done in the biology lab.

“We had challenges,” Smith said. “The floor was a mess. In the process of cleaning it, tiles were replaced. We couldn’t match them 100 percent, but at least they got those big holes in the floor cleaned up.”

In addition to her reports on improvements to facilities, Smith updated the trustees on programs at the Fred Lisle Center of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing at the Clarinda location.

There are 11 students in the current cohort -- four from NSK, one from AKS, three from Lisle Corp. and three who are open enrolled. An Ed Lisle Scholarship and a Fred Lisle Scholarship were given to separate students.

A previous cohort, now in its second year, has 14 students.

“For the second year, they can choose mech-tech or tool-and-die,” Smith said. “Eleven of them chose mech-tech and three chose tool-and-die. That’s just the way it fell.”

Smith also told the trustees about an upcoming “Spirits in School Scholarship” fund-raising event. It is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 13 in the Edith Lisle Library.

Featured will be samples from three Iowa distilleries -- Templeton Rye, Blue Ox and Iowa Distilling Co. A silent auction is also planned. Tickets are $25 per person, with proceeds used to support scholarships for Iowa Western students.

In other matters at the meeting, Iowa Western President Dr. Dan Kinney said the fall term has started successfully, with no academic or instructional issues encountered so far.

He said he has been asked when the Wellness Center on the Council Bluffs campus will be completed, but he said a definite time has not been established.

Also, Kinney noted, work on U.S. Highway 6 is still ongoing, which has caused problems for drivers attempting to turn on to the road from the highway that leads to the entrance to the Council Bluffs campus. An official completion date for that project has not been announced.

In other business, the board:

Heard a report on IWCC-organized summer camps that had been conducted in Council Bluffs for students of various age groups. Nine camps were scheduled, attracting 130 participants. College faculty members volunteered their time, and there were nine different camp themes, including aircraft maintenance and robotics.

Recognized Iowa Western student Chelsie Pope as the 2019 Coca-Cola Leader of Promise Scholar.

Received updates on performing arts activities on the Council Bluffs campus; student service programs; and the Pottawattamie Promise program, which provides special assistance to identified students who may otherwise have difficulty pursuing college studies.

Appointed trustee Randy Pash as the IWCC voting delegate for the 2019 ACCT Leadership Congress.

Approved the IWCC president’s goals for 2019-2020.

Approved an amendment to the 2020-2021 academic calendar, adding Aug. 12 as a faculty in-service day.

Approved the 2021-2022 academic calendar.

Approved a date change for the November board meeting from Nov. 18 to Nov. 25.

Approved the 2020 calendar of events for the board.

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